March 29, 2024
Ask Deepak

How can we harness the power of discipline?.

Quote.

When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Question:

“My question concerns discipline. 

It’s not an easy feat (maybe that’s the problem), but I feel like I have a handle on a few things that make my life better. 

I’m really good at forgiving others, I have abundance and I am able to let go of the little disturbances that happen to me throughout the day. 

But for some reason, I just can’t seem to be as disciplined as I know I should be. 

I drink too much and eat poorly. 

I don’t currently have any health conditions but know how much better things would be if I took care of myself. 

I don’t feel like the substance abuse is related to excessive anxiety or poor spiritual health. 

What am I missing?”

Response:

You characterize your eating and drinking habits as substance abuse, but based on the tenor of your letter, I’m not sure that is the most accurate way to describe it. 

Most people with real substance abuse issues don’t explain it as a minor discipline issue in an otherwise happy and healthy life. 

Unless you have a serious alcohol problem, I think it will be more helpful to look at these eating and drinking issues as unconscious habits that have become deeply reinforced over the years. 

The problem with trying to impose discipline to solve these issues is that it means we are only fighting one part of our mind with another part of our mind. 

One side or the other can gain the upper hand for a while, but because both sides are mental positions, no one side can ever really win. 

Discipline is only useful when it is already an integral part of your natural behavior. 

Trying to impose it on your life as an ideal because you are judging yourself as lacking or inadequate, will only add strain and guilt to your life. And that brings more self-criticism and blame.

I suggest you take a more self-accepting approach. 

What you want to do is enlist the support and intelligent guidance of your inner self to bring the light of awareness to these unconscious habits. 

In that way, they lose their power and eventually dissolve on their own. 

So instead of trying to discipline yourself the next time you overeat or drink, simply pay attention to how you are feeling. 

Notice how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Don’t try to stop what you are doing, just continue with full awareness, without self-judgment or recrimination. 

Be attentive to how you feel while you are eating and drinking, as well as afterward. 

It’s not necessary to draw conclusions, simply take notice.

What this does is bring awareness into your unconscious behavior. 

This allows the transformation of the old habit to come from a deeper level of our self than our thinking mind. In time the habit is no longer unconscious and it loses its grip. 

Then it naturally falls away on its own. 

It may not seem like a powerful technique because we are not struggling or using willpower, but by taking recourse to our true self, we are going to the root of the issue and structuring a lasting solution.

Love,

Deepak

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